Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 23 in A-Major, K. 488

by Max Derrickson

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (Born January 27, 1756 in Salzburg; died December 5, 1791 in Vienna)

Piano Concerto No. 23 in A-Major, K. 488

This concerto for piano and orchestra was written over a period of several months during 1785-6 while Mozart also worked on the piano concertos in E-flat (K. 482), in C-minor (K. 491) and Le Nozze di Figaro — each of them distinctive masterpieces.  Because Mozart felt that several of his previous concertos might have pushed the limits of the Viennese public’s sophistication, he wrote these works in a vein towards more assured popularity.  But No. 23 shows Mozart meeting his public only halfway, as is especially clear in the incredibly far-reaching middle Andante movement.

The first movement (Allegro) may be unique in Mozart’s oeuvre in the simplicity of its structure and being so organic in scope.   [. . .]